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Published by the Port of Walla Walla

Ron Dunning elected to fill Port Commission post

   “I’ve been a person
who’s always worked hard for
what I have. I’m a person who
will take chances, but it has
to be an educated chance.
I feel I have an opportunity
to give back
to the community.”

Ron Dunning
Port of Walla Walla

Ron Dunning

    A lifelong Walla Walla Valley resident, Ron Dunning has been elected to fill the Port of Walla Walla Commission post left vacant by the retirement of Dr. Fred Bennett.
    Dunning is owner of Dunning Irrigation Supply in Touchet and a related irrigation supply store in Nyssa, Oregon. He is also coowner of Touchet Seed & Energy, an oil-seed crusher for biofuels, and owns a farm.
    Among other activities, Dunning is a member of the Touchet-Gardena Lions Club; founder of the Touchet Educational Foundation; supporter of Future Business Leaders of America and Future Farmers of America through Touchet schools.
    He attended Columbia Basin College and with his wife, Dana, has four grown children and seven grandchildren.

Long-time Port Commissioner - Dr. Fred Bennett - retires after 24 years leaving a legacy of service, leadership, progress

 Fred Bennett  

 It was 30 years ago when Dr. Fred Bennett decided it was time to become involved in “public life.”
    “I’d done plenty as a college professor and an engineer,” Dr. Bennett explains, “I wanted to do a bit on the citizenship end.”
    His “bit” included election to four sixyear terms on the Port of Walla Walla Commission (1980- 1991, 1998-2009) and opportunities that led to related service on the Benton-Franklin- Walla Walla Good Roads Association, his becoming a founding member of the U.S. Highway 12 Coalition and selection to the executive committee of the Washington Public Ports Association.
    In addition, Dr. Bennett has been a member of the College Place City Planning Commission, Team Walla Walla, the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and served on a host of community task forces. For nearly three decades he volunteered with the College Place Fire Department.

    Reflecting on his Port Commission career, Dr. Bennett said, “We’ve done a lot of good things.”
    Topping his list of favorites is four-laning
U.S. Highway 12 from Walla Walla to Pasco.
    “It’s the biggest thing we’ve done.” he emphasizes. “And thanks to support at Federal and State levels, we can be sure it’s a project that will see completion.
    ”Other major successes in Dr. Bennett’s service record include the completion of the new Walla Walla Regional Airport Terminal, the recruitment of Key Technology to a Port built facility in the Avery Street Industrial Park and successful siting of the Railex Produce Distribution Center near Burbank.
    Dr. Bennett has high praise for the “team” that makes the Port work. “Thanks to the wisdom and commitment of my fellow commissioners and the dedication of the Port staff, we’ve expanded our vision,” he explains. “We’ve built a solid foundation for a vital, growing community. Public attitude has changed 180-degrees during my tenure and it seems as if every time we have a meeting we do a little more.”
    After his final duties in December, 2009 Dr. Bennett begins a retired lifestyle that will include travel and time with his family.
“There are far more pluses than minuses in what we’ve accomplished...and community members are becoming more and more interested in finding a part they can play to enhance the economic vitality of the region.”
Fred Bennett
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